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Hey guys, i was wondering if anyone can give me some recommendations on how to improve the acoustics of my living room/ listening area. It is a cavernous room that produces a lot of echo. Have three young loud children that will make your ears bleed after 10 minutes. It is 115 sqm an has 4.4 m high ceilings. Currently i am running a couple of dynaudio speakers (dm2/8) and am powering them with an emotiva basx a-300. A late model yamaha receiver is being used as a pre-amp for now. 
The photo below shows where the two speakers sit next to the tv on the right (yellow). To left i am considering a 6 metre long heavy curtain to dampen the echo.

My question is will this curtain have a significant dampening effect ? Also considering using felt material  for the curtain. 
Would it be advised that i upgrade to some floor standers once the acoustics have been sorted ? Given the size of the room. The dynaudio's can play loud and clean but i am looking for some more low end. I would even consider a sub also. Cheers 

4FE53ED4-D41E-47B7-9AA1-BC442D992B72.jpeg

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if the curtain covers the glass door then yes will have a positive effect. I'd want to treat the back wall also 

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We had a space like that in our last house.....have you got another room you can use for listening?

 

In my experience you'll need to cover a good portion of wall or ceiling in acoustic planel. It'll be very expensive,  even DIY, given the scale.....

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I would start with  https://www.gyprock.com.au/plasterboard-perforated for walls above kitchen and around dining table - all the way to the ceiling. 

+ Primacoustic could be an option as well, they can also be used behind speakers and help it those speakers are too close to the wall.  

6 metre long heavy curtain will help 

+ something like Dynaudio Excite X44 Floor Standing Speakers

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Start here.

https://www.bunnings.com.au/forestone-2420-x-1220mm-x-9mm-grey-acoustic-pinboard_p0127917

https://www.bunnings.com.au/forestone-2420-x-1220mm-9mm-white-acoustic-pinboard_p0098204

 

Cost effective way to reduce echo in a room. This is not sound proofing.

Easy to put up. doesn't visually scare the **** out of people.

But there are colours as well. Different sizes too.

If it doesn't work to your liking, you're not bankrupt finding out.
 

 

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On 08/03/2020 at 4:30 AM, Peter the Greek said:

We had a space like that in our last house.....have you got another room you can use for listening?

Best advice so far.

 

Your room is awesome but not for audio too many hard surfaces corners and it's just too big.

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When standing outside the room i can barely hear my wife yelling at me from the other side of the glass. Its the 20sqm of double glazing that is doing what suppose to do. Trap energy (heat/cold/sound) inside the room.  
I will pursue the curtain because the my other half thinks its a necessity. I do as well but for reasons mentioned above and will pick away at the rest. Thanks for your tips everyone

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22 minutes ago, $piro said:

When standing outside the room i can barely hear my wife yelling at me from the other side of the glass. Its the 20sqm of double glazing that is doing what suppose to do. Trap energy (heat/cold/sound) inside the room.  
I will pursue the curtain because the my other half thinks its a necessity. I do as well but for reasons mentioned above and will pick away at the rest. Thanks for your tips everyone

What type of curtains are you thinking? they're not going to suit the decor IMO. Blinds will look better.

 

I'd batten out these areas, put 50mm of 48kg insulation in there and then cover with a fabric track system.....but as I said....expensive

 

image.png.b0f4a9eedaa8e3a9d1281606fef01d33.png 

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I can see your issue , a lot like my room.

Lots of slap echo and reverb.

 

i have used Primaccoustics Broadway panels which has helped quite a bit.

 

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Probably a 2-3 mm felt that is being used on a lot of high end furniture my customer makes. My wife and i have quite particular  tastes when it comes to furnishings so a felt curtain/acoustic wall would not be out of place in our home

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In addition to what’s been said try maximising the absorption and reflection echo affect by using normal but larger amounts of absorbent and reflecting furniture, like the leather suit has seen its day so get a three seat fabric sofa and another single to absorb and breakup reflections at ground level, put more or larger rugs in the bare spaces, other larger cabinets, absorbent wall features like hanging tapestries, assuming it meets our style guide. This way you achieve or attempt more comfort, aesthetic and functionality that may help enough or part way, and leaves less need for aggressive amounts of acoustic treatment.

 

After doing this then gauge what the effect is before resorting to acoustic panelling. The room is not a complete cuboid as the kitchen area helps with irregularity.

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3 minutes ago, Al.M said:

In addition to what’s been said try maximising the absorption and reflection echo affect by using normal but larger amounts of absorbent and reflecting furniture, like the leather suit has seen its day so get a three seat fabric sofa and another single to absorb and breakup reflections at ground level, put more or larger rugs in the bare spaces, other larger cabinets, absorbent wall features like hanging tapestries, assuming it meets our style guide. This way you achieve or attempt more comfort, aesthetic and functionality that may help enough or part way, and leaves less need for aggressive amounts of acoustic treatment.

 

After doing this then gauge what the effect is before resorting to acoustic panelling. The room is not a complete cuboid as the kitchen area helps with irregularity.

None of this is addressing the massive bare wall & ceiling area above 2.1m high.

Consider looking at the photo again.

 

There is a lot of reflective surface below 2.1m; eg glass doors, bare walls etc.

ALL surfaces above 2.1m are bare; and the ceiling area is a HUGE reflecting surface, with many corners which would only compound the problem.

 

Based on the photo, I expect that a quiet conversation on one side of the room would be easily hard on the other side of the room.

Kids running amuck would be very fatiguing.

 

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Gee Emm said:

None of this is addressing

I did say “in addition to what’s been said” which means consider both and some of the additional room furnishing could help but both suggestions are merely guessing without professional room measurements to prove which might be correct or sufficient.

 

So definitely install curtains over windows, then subjectively gauge if that’s enough to take the edge of the echoing, if not then proceed to furnishings especially if that was the future plan anyway and gauge it subjectively again, then if all that ain’t enough go try blindly installing acoustic wall panels or seek professional help if one is really that serious to make significant modifications and cost investment.

 

In past similar post discussions I linked a YouTube of a room acoustics expert who said that one will often need about 10 times more room treatment than you originally thought to make a difference.

 

 

Edited by Al.M

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Great video.  Really puts things into perspective. Especially when he suggested to spend money on room treatment before upgrading speakers. 

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If we look at the photo, we can consider that we don't have go try blindly installing acoustic wall panels.

Most rooms have 4 corners to bounce sound around.

This room has 12 corners.

6 above 2.4 m; 6 additional corners below 2.4m ie kitchen & hallway/door area

The additional corners & lots of bare surface areas (including ceiling) are in addition to what most people have to deal with.

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Square set plastering doesnt help either. When i clap my hands it seems that the noise lingers in the ceiling. You make a good point gee emm, the room is naked from the "waist" up.

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@$piro what portion of you day is spent in there curtains drawn v not drawn? if the later dominates I'd encourage you to look at other solutions.

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Posted (edited)
On 07/03/2020 at 10:34 PM, $piro said:

Currently i am running a couple of dynaudio speakers (dm2/8) and am powering them with an emotiva basx a-300. A late model yamaha receiver is being used as a pre-amp for now. 

From experience a decent front end pre and DAC would likely un-muddy much of the sound.  A 2030 RXA Yamaha receiver as as a preamp wasn't close in matching a good $200 1990s USB computer sound card which at the time was better than a $2000 Hewlett Packard DA/AD board. 

 

 

Quote

The photo below shows where the two speakers sit next to the tv on the right (yellow). To left i am considering a 6 metre long heavy curtain to dampen the echo.

My question is will this curtain have a significant dampening effect ? Also considering using felt material  for the curtain. 

You have a number of options for curtains. The main thing is a heavy woven or felt fabric and as a MUST for absorption, lots of fabric so when closed there are still lots of regular deep folds. Go say 12m or more of fabric for a 6m wide opening.

 

In a bare room a little bit of absorption does a lot and basically keep doubling it from there. 

 

The key issue is the wall on the other side of your room from your speakers. Big delay times and you will hear snare hits etc come back at you. Good suggestions so far to batten it and line with perf PB, go more than 50mm deep if you can.

 

Not going overly high on your speaker positions can help too.

Keep the path between them and your seat unobstructed and then make use of seat backs, tables, waist height or greater partition shelving etc to diffract and diffuse the direct sound signal after it has gone by the seating position. 

 

Also consider if you can get seating closer to the speakers so that room effects are at a comparatively lower noise level.  Theoretically if you can get close enough the room response will be too low to matter and you'd basically have head phones. 

 

 

Quote

Would it be advised that i upgrade to some floor standers once the acoustics have been sorted ? Given the size of the room. The dynaudio's can play loud and clean but i am looking for some more low end. I would even consider a sub also. Cheers 

4FE53ED4-D41E-47B7-9AA1-BC442D992B72.jpeg

Possibly but adding more into a not great room may potentially just highlight more issues. Only one easy way to find out. Borrow some stuff. 

 

I also don't know these speakers, but superbly imaging speakers versus not so great imaging speakers in a room like this make many of the problems reduce. Our brains lock onto the first thing we hear and reflections are secondary unless delays are big enough we hear there as seperate sources.  Speakers with lower imaging just pump out additional mud into the mud. 

 

At the moment having the smaller speakers pushed against the wall is probably helping drive the lower room response better than if they had more space behind them. I'm doing this with some ML1s in a 70m2 space in my non critical area like this. I have 12m of fabric on 6m windows to the left too, and shelving, tables chests of drawers etc. 

Edited by DrSK

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, DrSK said:

make use of seat backs, tables, waist height or greater partition shelving etc to diffract and diffuse the direct sound signal after it has gone by the seating position

Agree and that’s basically what I was suggesting earlier to maximise things with normal amounts of furniture and see what that does before resorting to acoustic panels, though it does look like the room will need a lot more than just more and different placement of furniture diffraction.

Edited by Al.M

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This is the stuff i really want but last time i checked it cost a kings ransom. Might have to enquire again if the large drape doesnt dampen the room.  
 

BBB3257F-D1D6-49BA-B9A7-A95118C9C51D.png

FDDB11E5-BC11-43E1-8AB4-0E975BA200FF.png

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Really nice room 👍

 

4 hours ago, $piro said:

Might have to enquire again if the large drape doesnt dampen the room.  

 

A large drape will dampen some high frequencies but do nothing in the bass end - and IMHO getting the bass right should be the 1st priority in achieving great "in room" sound.

 

You have a great looking room, but making it sound good will be a challenge...I agree with PtG...

On 08/03/2020 at 3:30 AM, Peter the Greek said:

have you got another room you can use for listening?

As PtG recommends below

 

On 09/03/2020 at 10:56 AM, Peter the Greek said:

I'd batten out these areas, put 50mm of 48kg insulation in there and then cover with a fabric track system.....but as I said....expensive

 

image.png.b0f4a9eedaa8e3a9d1281606fef01d33.png

PtG's suggestion of 50mm of 48kg/m^3 insulation may not provide enough bass absorption though...

On 07/03/2020 at 9:34 PM, $piro said:

The dynaudio's can play loud and clean but i am looking for some more low end. I would even consider a sub also.

In your room I'd recommend more than 1 sub - if you want reasonable bass across both couches you'll likely need at least 2 subs and something like Multi Sub Optimiser (free) and EQ capability to adjust EQ and delay individually across each sub (not free, but many subs have this capability).

Given the size of your room you want subs with good SPL capability with low distortion - a pair of decent 15" subs with good amplification would IMO be the starting point, or maybe decent 4 x 12" subs.

 

Achieving good "in room" bass across multiple listening positions is not easy - especially in a shared room with limited treatment options.

Multiple subs with EQ and delay optimised using tools like Multi Sub Optimizer will make a massive difference.

 

cheers

Mike

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Thanks for you advice guys. I have since made contact with someone that makes acoustics curtains and will commission him to get me to phase one of the treatment. Quoted me about  1k over the phone and one week turnaround which i think is very reasonable. Will keep you posted

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Posted (edited)

 

On 13/03/2020 at 9:48 PM, $piro said:

to get me to phase one of the treatment.

Phase 2 should be acquiring a measurement rig (mike, mike stand, laptop, REW software (free))

Phase 3 should be taking measurements yourself and/or getting a professional in to do the measurements/interpret the measurements for you (having your own measurement rig is still very handy)

Phase 4 should be acquiring at least 2 decent subs, then placing them based on your measurements.

Phase 5 is treating the room further and/or adding EQ/delay to the subs

 

cheers

Mike

Edited by almikel

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